Angelina Jolie hopes her film will raise awareness of children living in war zones

Angelina Jolie has shared her hopes that her latest film will raise awareness of the plight of young people trapped in war zones.

Set to release on Netflix later this year, First They Killed My Father is based on the life story of human rights activist Loung Ung under the communist Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the 1970s.

Angelina, 41, said at a conference in Siem Reap on Saturday: “Her story is their story and so this is, in many ways, universal, and we hope that that is something that you think about as well… (I hope it will) remind everybody that there are little Loungs all around the world today.”

Chatting to filmmaker Rithy Panh (Heng Sinith/AP/PA

But as well as deliver a hard-hitting message, Angelina explained how she hoped to educate people both about the brutal history and the enduring beauty of the country.

She employed the help of her 15-year-old son Maddox, who was adopted from Cambodia, with the film’s production.

Describing him as proud of his heritage, she said that all her children saw the South-east Asia country as their second home after spending time there while filming over the last two years.

“The children are very close to the children who are in the film and, in fact, many of them are best friends,” she said.

Angelina was accompanied by child actors (Heng Sinith/AP/PA)

“So, they’re simply happy to be back with their friends. Maddox is happy to be back in his country.”

“I hope that the young people, when they see this film, that yes, they will learn part of their history, but I hope they also see — I hope all of you see — that this is a country of talent and art and love and beauty.”

Angelina began working in the country in 2001 for the UN’s refugee agency. Her directorial titles include 2015 marriage drama By The Sea, in which she starred alongside then-husband Brad Pitt, and the 2014 survival story Unbroken.


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